pensive jeremy sisto heather grahamm is concerned
geremy sisto in a scene in a bar heather graham photo

Heather Graham:
Love Is The Drug for Heather Graham in Broken

Actress Heather Graham ("Bobby," "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me") says she feels the pain of an addict in her new film "Broken"

heather graham smiling up

"I can identify with the desire to do something even though you know you'll destroy yourself," said actress Heather Graham after the world premiere of the film "Broken" at the 2006 AFI Fest in Los Angeles.

The film BROKEN is a tale of disillusionment in the big city, though its also about a sort of dual-diagnosis addiction – to both love and drugs. Those powerful forces intertwine to form a psychosis of mind and spirit that drive the drama, which had a red carpet world premiere this past weekend.

Speaking of her relapsing junkie character in the gritty dow

ntown L.A. drama. "I understand the feelings of addiction, not with heroin, but the feeling," Graham told Hollywood Today (www.hollywoodtoday.net).

So does director Alan White. "I know on a personal level the journey of an addict and finding yourself at the end."

Indeed the film steers toward a tarnished enlightenment at the end of the dirty rainbow – it is about being comfortable in your own skin, which of course, addicts never are.

Co-star Jeremy Sisto said he was also too aware of "people using heroin to fill the void." His character, Will, goes from crazy to dangerous as his addiction to Graham kicks in, who has left him in a slippery effort to go straight from both the smack and the destructive, co-dependent relationship.

The film's location added to its true-life feel, with a greasy diner you could smell through the screen, and White's rapid-fire 19-day shoot offering up a large dose of one-take scenes. Linda Hamilton and Jake Busey also turn in solid performances.

"It was emotionally intense," said Graham, who alternates her career as a vixen in mainstream mega-hits like "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" and "Anger Management" with an increasingly impressive body of indie character studies. The actress is in two movies at the AFI Fest, the other being the festival's opening feature, "Bobby."

"I was fried," she said of the rhythm and realism of the "Broken" shoot. "I felt like my character. Plus, we were shooting in downtown L.A. and there were junkies tripping out in the parking lot."

Heather Graham plays Hope, a waitress and would-be musician from the Midwest who comes to the West Coast to find stardom just too elusive. The influence of love and a bad boyfriend frustrate Graham's character, who slowly slides into drugs. She is pissed off at everyone else's success the way only an addict can be: even at a happy hooker and an attention-grabbing girl on the drug Ecstasy.

Though BROKEN is hardly billed as such, the movie stands out as a fine film about one of the most common forms of addiction – a functional addiction that allows you to lead a semblance of a life, albeit one of not-so-quiet desperation. The film will likely hold its' own in theaters, but its real long-term run is likely to be at rehabs everywhere.
By Jeffrey Jolson-Colburn for Hollywood Today (www.hollywoodtoday.net)